Umar Naseer has been dismissed from the the government-aligned Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) over allegations made following his unsuccessful bid to become the party’s presidential candidate, local media has confirmed today.
The Sun Online publication today reported that Naseer has been sent an official notice of dismissal invalidating his PPM membership.
Following the PPM primary last month, Naseer alleged that his opponent MP Abdulla Yameen controlled all of the party’s organs, including the council and election committee, and had “rigged” the vote in his favour by ballot stuffing, falsifying the count and “pouring black money” to buy votes.
He further alleged that Yameen, half-brother of former autocratic ruler, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, was fully backed by the former president’s family and PPM parliamentary group, as well as criminal gangs, convicts and drug smuggling “networks”.
A case against Naseer was heard by the PPM’s internal disciplinary council on April 14 over the nature of possible action taken against him after he refused to apologise to Yameen or defend himself at the subsequent disciplinary hearing.
When contacted by Minivan News today, a spokesperson for Umar Naseer refused to confirm if such a notice had been received.
“I’m sorry, but we do not give interviews to Minivan News,” the spokesperson said.
PPM MP Ahmed Mahloof was meanwhile not responding to calls from Minivan News. Fellow MP Ahmed Nihan had his phone switched off at time of press.
“Not in the mood”
Nihan told Minivan News earlier this week that Naseer had failed to respond, either verbally or in writing, during a seven day period provided by the PPM’s disciplinary hearing to retract the allegations he had made.
“It seems he was not in the mood to follow the party’s charter,” Nihan added, pointing to several media reports that Naseer had taken a role in discussions to form a broad coalition of government-aligned parties behind current President Dr Mohamed Waheed ahead of the presidential election scheduled for September 7 this year.
However, local newspaper Haveeru has reported that Naseer himself has questioned the legality of any action to remove him from the PPM while the Civil Court is in the process of hearing a case on whether to invalidate the outcome of the PPM primary.
PPM member Rahma Moosa lodged the case earlier this month claiming 8,915 people who were not officially registered as members of PPM had been allowed to vote in the primary.
The PPM has previously said that although the additional persons had not been registered at the Elections Commission by March 10, they were allowed to vote as they had submitted membership forms to the party.
The PPM was formed by former President Gayoom back in 2011 together with a breakaway faction from within the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP).
The DRP – the first political party formed by Gayoom back in 2005 – was split into two factions of supporters backing former president Gayoom and those supporting his successor as DRP Leader, Ahmed Thasmeen Ali.
Infighting in the party had intensified from back in December 2010 after Umar Naseer was dismissed as the DRP’s Deputy Leader following a vote by the party’s disciplinary committee.